Gabriela Lenzi was born in a small town in the Santa Caterina province on Brazil. With a penchant for travel and innate sense of style, the young, bright-eyed natural beauty quickly found herself in Europe studying a master's in fashion design. Drawing inspiration from travel, and the beauty of the world around her (gastronomy, architecture, art, etc.), the force to be reckoned with is currently living in Salamanca, Spain, finishing up a Doctorate in design.
And because she doesn't have enough to do, Gabriela also manages an eponymous line featuring unique, vintage-inspired bridal, evening wear, bespoke designs and hats that has drawn the attention of a number of highbrow fashion editors. Yours truly included.
Check out her interview below, followed by some images of her work modeled by the Italian media personality, Francesca Romeo.
Your passion is style. How did you get started in the fashion industry?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved fashion! I started creating my own designs when I was about 5 or 6 years old. When I was 16 and needed to choose a university major, the answer was without doubt: fashion.
Already at 17 years old, I had my first internship, working as an assistant in a very traditional textile shop near my hometown in Brazil.
Where do you go to get inspired and design?
From within! Although of course, everything around me influence my actions. Travel, experiencing new things, simply seeing… But none of this is important without feeling. I think of myself as a filter: I see - feel - create - materialize.
Tell us about the story behind your latest creation/item of clothing you made.
Since I primarily work on bespoke projects, the story of every article of clothing I create is mixed with the story of every client.
Recently, I had a bridal client whose wedding gown I literally dreamed up. And it's not the first time that this happens. One entire collection I showed in 2011 was made up of many of the outfits I "designed" in my dreams. This is my favorite way of designing!
You go constantly go back and forth between Brazil and Europe. Does your design point-of-view change when you are on either side of the ocean?
My creation process will always evolve! Once I have seen, lived and felt, I'll never be the same again and the same can be said for my creations. This is why for me, it's so important to travel, see, and feel. I really feel that every little thing in the world both around me and inside me are so deeply personal and transformative in a number of ways, including translating itself in the form of a dress or a hat.
If you were a prisoner on death row, what would your last meal be?
I love to eat! And this is definitely the hardest question. But my grandmother makes a killer Brazilian-style rice from an old family recipe handed down from 19th Century Italian immigrants.